Do any of you New Jersey guys install pavers?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by jerryo, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. jerryo

    jerryo LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Messages: 18

    Curious to see if Im under bidding. I used to charge $10 a sq ft. for patios, and walkway's, and $14 for steps. Lately their hasn't been much work, I hope this will begin to change. I feel if I keep charging $9 or $8 Im in trouble, unless it's a really big job. Word on the street is N.Y. paving contractors are getting $18 a sq. ft. can any of you support this?
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,554

    Might try opening a thread in the Hardscape forum...
  3. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260


    No one can tell you waht to charge. Everyone has different operating expenses and different slary requirments.

    Your first mistake is charging by the square foot. Every job is different. You need to charge more per a sq on a walkway than a patio. IN MOST CASES.
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Agree with Mrusk.

    I don't charge by the sqaure foot but what I'll do after the proposal is calculated is figure out what the per sqft price is. The lowest I can go with the least costly of pavers is in the 15-20 per square range. I'm working on onhe tonight that comes out to 17 and change.

    Don't take any offence but I'm probablly losing jobs to you and/or others that charge less. But hey if you or anyone else can do it for that price all the power to ya. I can't, I'd rather not have any work that work to lose money...whats the point?

    Plus, if I were to go down to 10 per sqft I'd have to skip a major portion of the the base. Again, I don't charge by that method but it is a way to compare pricing...assuming all other factors are the same...i.e. base depth, restraint, etc.
  5. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    I would rather lose a job to a low bidder than be the low bidder without a clue as to how to make money constructing a job.
  6. ACutAbovesiny

    ACutAbovesiny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    LB1234 hit it right on the head. You can give the customer a price per sq ft but only after you figure your man hr rate, material cost, difficulty of job, sight specifications, and of course your operating costs. You may see that you need $10 per sqft just to break even...which is about fair to say for standard patios.

    Every company is different so dont price your jobs on what others are charging, that would be a recipe for failure.
  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    As mentioned it can depend on the job. $10 is OK for some, not enough for others. In northern NJ the lowest I can go is $9.50/ft2. That is for a standard walk, with no fancy patterns, or extras. Gives me a profit of a few bucks per ft. On the otherside I can go $20 / ft as well if I need to do a lot of excavating, material removal, edging, etc. Basically I try to keep my price for the install around 10-11/ft but that is just for the install. I charge extra for removal, special edging, lawn, plants, etc. and so on. To give you an idea, the pics are from a job that was 4600 just for the install, additional 800 to remove the old slate, and additional 1600 for the mulch. My profit from the install alone was around 1500 after I paid my guys. Walkway was about 390 / ft2. We completed the job in 2 days.

  8. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    Most of our installations, when converted to SQ. FT. are between $9 and $12 PSF. It really depends on what equipment you own, logistics and how skilled and productive your workers are. I see a lot of other contractors out there using inadequate tools, and poor construction techniques. If you modernize your equipment, you'll pick up the pace and that saves money. 95% of the time we have Midco drop a container off for disposal. That saves the most time on the jobsite and we dont' beat up our trucks.
  9. Drafto

    Drafto LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    I could do sliver cuts and 3' paths for main entrances all day for $10/sf. I would just tell the homeowners, hey, I can get you down to $4,600 but your company will have to walk single file to your front door. BUT, on the way they can stop and enjoy this 18" diameter circle one at a time, unless of course, they want to stand in the grass and look at it together.

    Dude, seriously, north jersey, if you are less than $15/sf you are giving money away. But you'll keep turning out poorly designed junk like that with the sliver cuts and you will be gone in 3 years once you realize $10/sf on a walkway is bad business...................but hey what do I know I live in Delaware.

  10. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Walkway does look bad.

    Heck if the walkway is narrow like that, it should be more per a square foot than a wider walk.

    I think i know where that house is.

    I am in the same exact county as you. I do not think their is anyone that is installing pavers for 9.50 a square that isn't a lawn guy trying to be a hardscaper. 10/11 for A SQUARE FOOT? Extra for special edging? What type of special edging, or do you mean to add any edging at all?

    Honestly, its guys like you, doing work like that, that is hurting this industry. I would not even go out on that estimate for a walk like that. The reason for that it will turn into a complete circus.

    The only thing that i would even consider laying for close to 10 bucks a square would be a large driveway.

    And on a house that size, i would not install a walkway less then 5 feet wide. Don't tell me "Its what the client wanted" If the client wants something that is ridicoulous and will not look good, i won't do it. I am a professional and am only interested in doing professional jobs.

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